Fed up Scotts Valley residents look for answers after insurance companies drop coverage

Fed up residents in the Santa Cruz mountains packed a community center and overflow room on Tuesday night to voice concerns about being left without homeowners insurance.

According to an independent insurance agent at the meeting, none of the major insurance companies are issuing new homeowners policies in Scotts Valley. The average price of insuring a new home would be two and a half to three and a half times more than just five years ago.

The new price could be comparable to a second mortgage for some.

Many folks who spoke to KTVU, including longtime Scotts Valley resident, Tom Eagle, said their insurance company will drop his policy in August. He will only qualify for California’s FAIR plan.

‘Given what I’ve heard, I expect that insurance to triple up to $15,000 for fire insurance only,” Eagle said.

CAL Fire, the California Department of Insurance and other agencies presented and answered questions from concerned and confused residents.

According to Joel Laucher, a consumer consultant with United Policy Holders, the most common question was what people can do if they have been dropped from their policy.

Laucher recommends shopping around and exploring all options.

“There are a lot of obscure insurers out there you may not know about,” Laucher said. “You have to contact multiple agents before you give up and settle for the FAIR plan.”

Residents said their ultimate fear is the cost of insurance driving out their neighbors and friends.

“A lot of people have left or are trying to leave,” Matt Maxsen, a long-time resident said. “They don’t know what’s coming.”

Th California Department of Insurance was on Tuesday’s panel but would not speak to KTVU at the event.